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How to clean a Nespresso machine

Keep it running like new for perfect brews…


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If you’ve got a Nespresso coffee machine, you’ll know what a great piece of kit it is. Not only does it make amazing coffee, it’s also beautifully designed and easy to take apart and clean. It’s a good idea to do this regularly, so you know you’re always getting a quality brew when you press that button. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for you, with everything you need to know about keeping your Nespresso machine pristine…

How often should I clean my Nespresso machine?

It's recommended that you clean your Nespresso machine every 2-3 months. But you might need to do it more often if you use it frequently. If you’re hitting it hard every day, think about giving it a proper clean every month.

What you need to clean your Nespresso machine

Before you start, make sure you’ve got the following things to hand:

  • Washing-up liquid

  • Mild detergent.

  • A dish cloth.

  • A container that can hold about 4 cups of water and fit under the coffee head.

Clean your Nespresso machine in 5 simple steps

1. Clean the water tank

Detach the water tank from the machine. Check for any removable parts like lids or filters, and soak these in warm, soapy water.
Use a dish cloth with a mild detergent to clean the interior of the water tank, reaching into all the corners and crevices. Rinse it thoroughly to remove any soapy residue and leave all the parts to air-dry.

2. Clean the capsule container

Eject or remove any used capsules, then wash the capsule container in warm soapy water. Rinse it thoroughly and leave it to air-dry.

Top tip: you can recycle Nespresso pods using their mail-back recycling bags. Here’s more information on how to recycle your coffee pods.

3. Clean the drip tray

Remove the cup support shelf and drip tray. Pour any dregs of cold coffee down the sink (there’s always some) then clean it in warm, soapy water. Rinse it thoroughly and leave it to air-dry.

4. Clean the exterior

Now wipe around the outside of the Nespresso machine with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

5. Run a ‘water only’ cycle and reassemble

Place a container that can hold at least four cups of water under the coffee head. Now run a ‘water-only’ cycle through the machine. The exact method for doing this varies between models, so check the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s usually something like pressing the start button three times quickly (within a couple of seconds) and then letting the cycle run. It takes about five minutes for three cycles of water to run through the machine.

When that’s done, simply reassemble the Nespresso machine by fitting the cup support and capsule container back into place. Job done.

How do I descale my Nespresso coffee machine?

Nespresso recommends that you descale your coffee machine every 3 months or 300 capsules - whichever comes first.

You should always descale your Nespresso machines with a Nespresso Descaling Kit, which contains a natural solution that thoroughly dissolves the scale build up. Other options (such as vinegar or descalers from other brands) might damage your Nespresso machine.

The exact method for descaling your Nespresso machine varies by model, so you’ll need to check out the manufacturer’s instructions – but here’s how to do it if you’ve got a Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee machine:

  • With the machine plugged in, empty the capsule container and drip tray and fit them back onto the machine.

  • Fill water tank with 1 packet of Nespresso descaling solution and 500ml of water.

  • Make sure there’s no capsule in the machine. Close the machine head and lock the lever to the left to turn the machine on. Wait until the light is steady (approximately 30 seconds).

  • Unlock the lever with the head closed. Press and hold the button until you see the steady light turn off, and then start blinking orange quickly. It might take a few seconds for this to happen.

  • Turn the lever to the left to lock it, then turn it back to the front to unlock it.

  • Press and hold the button until the light turns off and then starts blinking orange and quickly again (approximately 7 seconds).

  • Lock the lever. The light should still be blinking orange quickly. This means you’re now in descaling mode.

  • With a large container (about 1 litre) underneath spout, press and release the button once to begin descaling. The light will continuously blink throughout the process.

  • Once the solution has finished running through, the machine should be silent. Discard the solution and put the empty container back underneath the coffee spout.

  • Empty the drip tray and capsule container. Rinse the water tank and clean it. Refill the tank to the top with fresh water and put it back on the machine.

  • Press and release the button to begin the rinsing phase. When the machine stops making a noise, get rid of the water from the container.

  • The machine will stop automatically, and the cup button should become steady rather than blinking.

  • Refill the water tank and place it back onto the machine.

  • Empty and rinse the capsule container and drip tray, then put them back on the machine.

  • Wipe down the machine with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes. It’s now ready for use.

Nespresso maintenance tips

Here are a few tips to make sure your Nespresso machine stays in good condition between cleans, and right on top of its coffee-making game.

1. Regular descaling. We show you when and how to do this right above!

2. Rinse the coffee spout. Run a water-only cycle through the machine regularly to clean the coffee spout and remove any coffee residue.

3. Check the water tank. Make sure the water tank always has fresh water. Try to use filtered water to avoid a build-up of mineral deposits.

4. Store capsules properly. Keep your coffee capsules in a cool, dry place to prevent them from becoming stale and affecting the machine.

Need more help?

If you’re looking for quality coffee at home, check out our coffee machine buying guide or take a look at this handy article on how to find the perfect coffee machine for you. We’ve got a huge range to choose from, including the latest Nespresso Pod coffee machines.

If you’ve already got a Nespresso Vertuo Pop, here’s how to make great coffee with it.

It pays to trade-in. Ker-ching!

We offer trade-in for most types and makes of devices, even if they’re damaged and non-working.

If you’re interested, head to our trade-in page and check that your old tech is eligible for trade-in. You’ll also see a handy calculator that will give you an instant valuation.

Then bring your device to one of our stores and we’ll confirm its value, take it off your hands, and give you a gift card to spend on the tech you really want. Easy.

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